Five Tips For Traveling Gluten Free
Although we aren’t doing much traveling lately, I thought I would spend some time talking about my main tips for traveling gluten free before traveling becomes big again. If you have recently been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance, traveling can seem really daunting. Being concerned about how and what you’re going to eat can take away the enjoyment of vacation or being on the road. But I promise you sticking to your gluten free diet is not as annoying or bad as you might think it is, especially if you do a little research ahead of time and make sure to pack the essentials. Here are my top five tips for traveling gluten free for those who are traveling (safely) right now.
1. Alert any hosts of your gluten intolerance! If you are staying with friends or family, make sure to let them know ahead of time of your gluten intolerance. That way they can plan meals in advance and make sure they don’t mistakenly serve you gluten.
2. Choose to stay in Airbnbs with access to a kitchen over hotels. Sometimes it’s just easier to go to the grocery store and make your own meals in your Airbnb than trying to find restaurants with gluten free options or eating take out all the time. Plus, it’s healthier and will probably save you money.
3. Always pack snacks you can eat! Especially for the flight/car ride, etc. I always bring Lara Bars with me. They are so perfect to throw into your bag or even to pack a box in your suitcase. I also really like Glutino pretzels for a salty snack. Honestly I snack all the time, so the more snacks, the merrier.
If you are flying, especially if it’s a long flight, note that a lot of airlines will let you order gluten free meal options and you can call ahead of time to let the airline know.
It should also be noted that airline snacks can sometimes have hidden gluten in them - like certain potato chips etc. Many airlines do have gluten free options, but in the event that they don’t, it’s always good to carry your own.
4. Know what you can and can’t eat and drink at restaurants and bars. It’s always a good idea to research restaurants with good gf options ahead of time when you’re traveling. But in the event that you find yourself at a restaurant that doesn’t have many gluten free options, it’s helpful to have a couple of common restaurant foods that you know you can eat without too many side effects or that usually don’t come in contact with gluten. Same goes for bars. It saves you the frustration of scouring the menu for a long time or asking the bartender a million questions if you’re with a big group or are hangry. Easy go-to gluten free meals are salads (and choose a basic dressing that definitely doesn’t have gluten, like a vinaigrette) or a rice dish. My favorite basic cocktails to order are a gin and tonic or a dirty martini with gin or Tito’s vodka.
If you are traveling abroad, make sure you know how to ask if something is gluten free or can be made gluten free in the appropriate language.
5. Pack tums/medicine with you! In the event that you do mistakenly ingest some gluten, you’ll be glad you packed this.
Safe travels and remember to wear your masks (even if you’ve been vaccinated).